BRATTLEBORO—Amanda Barrow will be presenting “Fire and the Alphabet,” an exhibition of two groups of monotype prints (one-of-a-kind prints, no two are alike) at Gallery 34/River Gallery School of Art, 34 Main St., through Saturday, Oct. 30.
A lifelong environmental conservationist, Barrows says she has always been interested in the human effect on nature. The series of red/orange prints on view were inspired by the intense fire colors that have appeared on social media and in the news.
By laying down layer after layer of Akua printmaking ink on each sheet of paper, Barrow creates a slow build-up of a transparent glow, which she says was inspired by the embers of fire and the wildfires in the Western United States in particular.
The second part of the exhibition depicts an exploration of techniques, incorporating the monotype printing practice and collage methods. The Roman alphabet is the inspiration behind this series of work.
Upon the arrival of COVID-19, Barrow resorted to a basic concept, the alphabet. “By employing the letters of our script, these monotype prints are the result of a fine struggle to continue to work and create during this weird pandemic time,” notes a news release announcing the exhibition.
Barrow has been creating monotype prints since 1985, when she fell into taking a workshop with the great printmaking master Robert Blackburn in New York City. She later worked for Michael Mazur in Cambridge, Mass., as his studio assistant for many years.
Having been awarded a Fulbright research grant, she moved for a year to India, where she studied printmaking and papermaking techniques.
Barrow has been teaching monotype printmaking workshops with Akua Inks all over the world since 1998, when she started out in her studio in Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Currently, she lives and works in Easthampton, Mass., New York City, and Maine. More of her work can be seen at amandabarrow.net.